Rob and his Coaches

Rob Casey - Founder / Lead Coach / Guidebook Author

Rob Casey - Founder / Lead Coach / Guidebook Author

A Passion for Paddling and Helping Others..

I started Salmon Bay Paddle in 2010 to provide personable individual and small group SUP instruction in the Pacific Northwest.

Being dyslexic and originally non-athletic, my learning curve for paddling was longer than usual but as a result I found innovative ways to work with students to achieve their goals.

I’ve transformed lives by empowering and giving confidence to many who didn’t think they’d stand or enjoy being on the water. And I only hire coaches who love paddling and like myself, love to share their passion for paddling with others.

I guarantee that my coaches and I will not only meet but surpass your goals whether you’re a beginner or advanced paddler.

Paddling benefits are many, students have lost weight, increased their self-esteem, and have paddled in places and conditions they’d never imagined they’d be capable of.

Paddling has changed my life, so I love to share my knowledge and skills with students to help them become confident and skilled paddlers.

How I got started as a paddler..

Click to continue learning about Rob..


Rob’s Lead Coaches

Jac Howard

Jac Howard

A native of Australia, and an avid open water swimmer Jac learned SUP technique and navigation/currents training from Salmon Bay Paddle which have given her the ability to explore the epic PNW coastal environments of Washington, and she loves sharing this knowledge with others.

She paddles year round, races, loves a holiday costume paddle, and spends her days off exploring by SUP.  She also enjoys introducing people to SUP technique and safety, with an emphasis on fun. She especially loves introducing women to what’s possible on the water, and helping kids learn through play.

Jac holds a certification from Orca Swim School as an instructor.

Sam George

In addition to a long career in the surfing industry (pro competitor, writer, magazine editor, documentary filmmaker) Sam George is one of the pioneers of stand-up paddling. having traded his outrigger paddle for a stand up version back in 2004.

Former Senior Editor of SUP Magazine, Sam has raced, toured and surfed with a paddle in his hands in six of the Seven Seas.

He is the writer and director for the documentary “Hawaiian – The Legend of Eddie Aikau” for which he won an Emmy.  

Sam relocated to Whidbey Island in the fall of 2023 to start a new chapter of surfing and exploration in the Pacific Northwest.

Robert Nissenbaum

Robert Nissenbaum

Robert is an adventure seeking coastal sea kayaker, instructor, and trip leader. He has kayaked much of Puget Sound as well as having spent time in the San Juan Islands, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and out on the Pacific Coast. 

Robert holds the ACA L3 Coastal Kayak Instructor with the Coastal Kayak Trip Leader endorsement, the Rolling Endorsement, and Advanced Communications instructor endorsement (working with those with speech, visual, and/or hearing disabilities). He is also the ACA Washington State Director.

Robert is a dealer for Turning Point Kayaks, a Gearlab Outdoors retailer, and a brand ambassador for NC Kayaks.

Van Douglas

Van Douglas

Surf Ski instructor – Van has been surf ski and downwind paddling over 8 years in the Columbia River Gorge. He has raced in the PNW and Vortex racing series for 6 years taking podium spots in his division including the Gorge Downwind Championships. He’s travelled to Australia, South Africa, Hawaii, Costa Rica and Baja to paddle. Van has 20 years of experience as a whitewater kayaker and raft guide up to Class V in the Southeast. He has Wilderness First Aid and Swift Water Rescue certifications.

Van recently travelled to North Carolina for the ACA L3 surf ski certification course.


Jonas Wofgang Ecker

Jonas Wofgang Ecker

Surf Ski instructor – From Bellingham, WA, Jonas has been paddling surfski’s and sprint kayaks since the age of 10. In sprint, Jonas has competed as a member of the US National Team since 2018 and currently holds all four Men’s K1 National titles. He most recently qualified to represent Team USA at the Senior World, U23 World, and Pan-American Championships this summer (2022). In ski, Jonas has taken podium spots at top events such as the Canadian Downwind Championships and the Gorge Downwind Championships.

Jonas also explores the backcountry and is studying at the University of Washington for a Major in Marine Biology and a Minor in Chemistry.